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Graduation Requirements

Last Updated: 11/30/2020 3:58 PM


Course Credits Required for Graduation

The requirements for graduation from high school include earning twenty-one (21) units of credit in grades nine (9) through twelve (12) as established in State law and this Board and fulfilling the requirements of one (1) graduation pathway that has been approved by the State. To graduate, students must earn twenty-one (21) units of credit in grades nine through twelve as follows:

Subject   Units Required
English Language Arts 4
Health 1/2
Physical Education 1/2
Mathematics  (must include one (1) unit of algebra II or equivalent of algebra II

Students who are enrolled in a career technical program may complete a career-based
pathway math course as an alternative to algebra II or advanced computer science.)


Science (must include 1 unit physical sciences, one (1) unit of life sciences, and one (1)
unit advanced study in one (1) or more of: chemistry, physics, other physical science, 
advanced biology or other life science, physical geology or other earth or space science,
computer science.)


Social Studies

Government/Economics (must include one (1) unit of U.S.History, one-half (1/2) unit
of World History)

Electives (must include one (1) or any combination of a foreign language, computer
coding, fine arts, business, career-technical education, family and consumer sciences,
technology, agricultural education, or English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science,
or Social Studies courses not otherwise required)


In order to be eligible for graduation, students must also complete 45 hours of community service (policy 2575) and a senior project (policy 5462).


Senior Project Requirement

Seniors are required to complete a senior project/capstone event to be eligible for graduation consideration. Students will choose an activity that gets them out into the community and provides them an opportunity to “give back” while learning skills that will prepare them for college or the workforce. Students may choose the method of completing the senior project/capstone from the following three options:

  1. Traditional Route: choose a subject of inquiry and develop a project plan
  2. Internship: Student will complete an internship of at least 30 hours in a field of their choosing
  3. Community Service: Students will complete an additional 30 hours of community service (in addition to community service graduation requirement) in a dedicated location or dedicated field

Students must receive approval of their senior project/capstone event prior to beginning the project and must complete the senior project/capstone event prior to the beginning of Spring Break. Students must share their learning experiences through senior project/capstone presentations to the community.


All students must receive instruction in economics and financial literacy during Grades 9 – 12. Additionally, all students must receive instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of an automated external defibrillator from an approved source during Grades 9-12, unless the student is exempted from such training due to a disability or by written request of the parent.


Students who achieve an industry credential or license that requires an examination shall not be required to take additional technical assessments. If the student does not participate in licensure or license examination, the student shall take the applicable technical assessments. Students must attain specified scores on assessments as required to demonstrate workforce readiness on a nationally recognized job skills assessment in order to obtain a diploma. 


Certain students are not required to take the college and career readiness assessments administered to all eleventh (11th) grade students:

  1. students who demonstrate they are remediation-free on the English, math and reading nationally-recognized assessments prior to the administration of the college and career readiness assessments;
  2. students with significant cognitive disabilities who take an alternative assessment and students with intellectual disabilities in accordance with State guidance, and
  3. Limited English proficient students enrolled in United States schools for less than two (2) years for whom no appropriate accommodations are available.​

Students may take the assessment even if they are not required to do so.

The Board shall affix the State of Ohio Seal of Biliteracy to the diplomas of students who achieve all the requirements in an eligible language as established by the Ohio Department of Education.  A student may be required to pay a fee to demonstrate proficiency in a language, which may include the cost of a standardized test.


Physical Education Waiver

Students who have participated in interscholastic athletics, marching band, show choir, or cheerleading for at least two (2) full seasons as defined in the Yellow Springs High School and McKinney Middle School Athletic Handbook, while enrolled in grades 9 through 12, and as documented by the athletic director may be excused from the high school physical education requirement. Students electing such an excuse shall complete one-half (1/2) unit of at least sixty (60) hours of instruction in another course of study which is designated by the Board as meeting the high school curriculum requirements. 


Credit may be earned by:

  1. completing coursework;
  2. testing out of or demonstrating mastery of course content; or
  3. pursuing one (1) or more educational options in accordance with the Center's Credit Flexibility Program.​


Credit may be earned at an accredited postsecondary institution through College Credit Plus (CCP).

Every high school may permit students below the ninth grade to take advanced work for credit. This work shall count toward the graduation requirements if it was both:


  1. taught by a person who possesses a license/certificate issued under State law that is valid for teaching high school;
  2. designated by the Board as meeting the high school curriculum requirements.​


State Graduation Requirements

The District will comply with State Board of Education requirements for graduation. Students shall earn required credits for graduation in the appropriate subject areas, and achieve one (1) of the pathways as summarized below (available pathways change and are specific to each graduating class):


Class of 2021 and Class of 2022

Students who have entered ninth grade before July 1, 2019 shall earn required credits for graduation in the appropriate subject areas, and achieve one (1) of three (3) pathways:

  1. earning a State Board of Education approved, industry‑recognized credential or group of credentials and achieve the required score on a workforce readiness assessment selected by the State; or
  2. earning a cumulative score on subject-specific end of course exams equal to State Board requirements for the year of graduation; or
  3. earning remediation-free scores in English language arts and math on a nationally recognized college admission exam such as ACT or SAT.​


Class of 2023 and Beyond

Students who enter ninth grade after July 1, 2019, must satisfy the following two (2) requirements. The Board of Education permits students who enter ninth grade before July 1, 2019, to earn a diploma if they meet these requirements as an additional pathway to graduation. 


  1. Earn at least two (2) State diploma seals, one (1) of which must include:
    1. Seal of Biliteracy;
    2. OhioMeansJobs-readiness Seal; or
    3. State Diploma Seal in one (1) of the following areas: Industry-recognized Credential Seal; College-ready seal; Military Enlistment Seal; Citizenship seal; Science Seal; Honors Diploma Seal; Technology Seal.

The Board offers the following additional seal(s) in accordance with adopted administrative guidelines: Community Service Seal; Fine/Performing Arts Seal; Student Engagement Seal.

  1. Attain a competency score on each of the Algebra I and English Language Arts II end-of-course examinations. Students who receive a proficient score on Algebra I or English Language Arts prior to entering high school will fulfill this requirement and will not be required to retake the exams. Students who fail to attain the competency score in either subject will be offered remedial support and will be required to retake the exam(s) at least once. A student who fails to achieve the competency score a second time may demonstrate competency in the failed subject area by completing one (1) of the following:
    1. earn course credit through College Credit plus in that subject
    2. provide evidence of enlistment in a branch of the armed services of the United States; or
    3. complete two (2) of the following options, with at least one (1) of the options being a foundational option
      1. Foundational Options: earning a score of proficient or higher on three (3) or more State technical assessments; obtaining an industry-recognized credential; completing a pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship in a chosen career field; providing evidence of acceptance into an apprenticeship program after high school that is restricted to participants eighteen (18) years of age or older.
      2. Supporting Options: completing 250 hours of a work-based learning experience with evidence of positive evaluations; obtaining an OhioMeansJobs-readiness seal; attaining a workforce readiness score selected by the State.


An honors diploma shall be awarded to any student who meets the established requirements for graduation or the requirements of his/her IEP; attains the applicable scores on the tests required by the State Board of Education to graduate; and meets any additional criteria the State Board may establish.


Participation in commencement exercises is a privilege and not a right. Commencement exercises will include only those students who have successfully completed requirements for graduation as certified by the high school principal or those students who have otherwise been deemed eligible to participate in such exercises. A student may be denied participation in the ceremony of graduation when personal conduct so warrants. However, no student who has completed the requirements for graduation shall be denied a diploma as a disciplinary measure. 


The Board also shall grant a diploma of adult education to all District residents over the age of twenty-one (21) who meet the requirements established by the State Board of Education.


The Superintendent shall establish whatever administrative guidelines are necessary to comply with State rules and regulations.